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CALIFORNIA
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Go Los Angeles Card - 37 Los Angeles Attractions
California Free Activities List

ACTIVITIES:

LOS ANGELES-  AMERICAN GIRL PLACE
189 The Grove Dr., Los Angeles   877.247.5223
www.americangirl.com/stores/location_la/php
COST:  FREE to visit
HOURS:  Monday - Sunday 10 am - 9 m
If your little girl loves American Girl dolls, then American Girl Place is a great place to visit.  This is a two story store devoted entirely to American Girl doll collections.  Even if you do not intend to purchase a new doll or AG item, it is fun just looking at the many doll displays.  Bring along your American Girl doll and visit the hair salon or photo studio (both have an additional charge).  There is also a cafe on site whichAmerican Girl Place, Los Angeles California-  Doll Hair Styling offers pre-set meals each day (reservations are required).   The store is located in a shopping center with a parking structure (called The Grove).  If you park there be sure to take your ticket to AG Place to have it validated.  As a side note, there is a beautiful fountain near the entrance to the parking structure that coordinates the water feature to music.  The kids really enjoyed stopping to watch it.
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-  Free to walk around.  Very clean and bright.  Elevators for strollers.  Located in a nice shopping center;  great for walking around.  Parking is validated.
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS- Everything is rather pricey, especially meals at the cafe. 

LOS ANGELES AREA (LONG BEACH)- Aquarium of the Pacific
100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach    562.590.3100
http://www.aquariumofpacific.org/
COST:  $25.95 adults/ $22.95 seniors (62+) / $14.95 children (3 - 11 yrs)  
A behind the scenes tour is available for an additional charge.   Purchase your tickets online to receive a discounted rate. 
HOURS:  Daily 9 am - 6 pm (closed Christmas and during the Long Beach Grand Prix)Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific Touch Tank
This was probably the best aquarium we have ever been to.  There was so much to do and see;  we actually ran out of time to explore the whole place.  The aquarium is home to over 12,000 sea animals.  The building is two stories and is divided into different regions.  Each region has a variety of tanks of different sizes.   Each area has hands-on activities, such as touch tanks.  There is more to see outside;  touch tanks and shows.  There is a 3D theatre onsite which shows two movies;  one is geared more toward children.  The theatre ticket is $3 extra per person.  Parking is at the parking structure across the street.  The cost is $6 with a ticket from the Aquarium.
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-  Large and well worth the price.  There is so much to see and many hands-on activities.  Interesting and educational shows at different times of the day.  We especially liked that there were hand washing stations located throughout the indoor and outdoor areas;  perfect for washing little hands after visiting the touch tanks. 

LOS ANGELES AREA-  DISNEYLAND / CALIFORNIA ADVENTURES
1313 S. Disneyland Dr., Anaheim   714.781.4565
www.disneyland.com
COST:  Call for information;  prices vary depending on the number of days and parks
HOURS:  Call for information;  schedule changes by season
What Family Friendly California page would be complete without Disneyland?!  There is truly something for everyone.  From youngest to oldest all of the children were thrilled with every aspect of this magical place.  The biggest drawback is the length of the lines.  To help with that utilize the FastPass program which is available on some of the more popular rides.  The FastPass holds your place in line so you can see other areas of the park instead of standing in line.  You might consider a trip during non-peak times if you have little ones (non-peak times are during the traditional school year excluding the Winter and Spring holiday breaks).   Parking is available at a variety of lots for differing amounts.  Our favorite lot is the Mickey and Friends lot which is $11.  A tram takes you from that parking structure to Disneyland / California Adventures (the kids loved the tram ride!). 
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-  Everything is kid friendly!  There are some rides with height restrictions but there is enough to keep everyone happy.  The FastPass is a wonderful, unique program so take advantage of it.  If possible allow yourself several days to see both parks instead of trying to rush the kids through in one day.
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS-   Food and souvenir costs are excessive.  Some rides have very long lines.  We were surprised that there were not family restrooms available.

LOS ANGELES AREA (HOLLYWOOD)-  Guinness World of Records Museum
6764 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood   323.463.6433
Ripley's Museum in Hollywood, CA | Odd, unbelievable and amazing exhibits from around the world
COST:  $16.99 adults/ $8.99 ages 5 - 12 / under 5 Free.  (A special combined rate is available with the Hollywood Wax Museum)
HOURS:  Daily 10 am - midnight
Very interesting museum full of fun and educational facts. The facts range from scientific to sports and entertainment.   There are several interactive displays and quiz stations.   Parking is via paid lot /structure.  If you park at the Hollywood and Highland parking structure, take your ticket to the museum for validation.
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-  Many hands-on areas (the kids especially liked the big scale).  
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS- A lot of reading so it is difficult for young children to stay interested.   


LOS ANGELES AREA (HOLLYWOOD)-  Hollywood Wax Museum
6767 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood   323.462.5991
www.hollywoodwax.com
COST:  $16.99 adults/ $14.99 ages 55+/ $8.99 ages 5 - 12 / under 5 Free.  (A special combined rate is available with the Guinness World of Records Museum).  Discounted tickets available through purchase on website.
HOURS:  Check website for hours
You will find a fun variety of well-done wax figures at this museum.  We did find the price to be rather high considering it took us only 15 minutes to see everything.  Pair this with a trip to the Guinness World of Records Museum to make it a better deal.    Parking is via paid lot /structure.  If you park at the Hollywood and Highland parking structure, take your ticket to the museum for validation.
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-  The kids found it fun to look around for figures they knew.
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS- Only took 15 minutes to walk through (and that was at a leisurely pace). 

LOS ANGELES AREA (BUENA PARK)-  Knott's Berry Farm
8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park    714.220.5200
www.knottsberryfarm.comKnotts Berry Farm Ghost Town Area, Buena Vista California
COST:  Single Day Ticket:  $51.99 adults / $22.99 children (age 3 - 11) and seniors (age 62+)   There is a discount available for purchasing and printing your tickets from home.  AAA discount offered.   Parking is $12.
HOURS:  Check the calendar on the website as the hours change from day to day.
Known as America's First Theme Park, Knott's Berry Farm offers a wide variety of thrill rides for the adventurer as well as kid's rides.   The park is divided into 7 areas: Knott's Resort and California Marketplace, Ghost Town, Indian Trails, Camp Snoopy, Fiesta Village, Boardwalk, and Wild Water Wilderness.   There are numerous roller coasters such as Montezooma's Revenge, Sierra Sidewinder, and Ghostrider.   Get soaked on the Big Foot Rapids and the Log Ride.  Scattered throughout each section are snack stands and a variety of stores.  The original chicken restaurant that started the Knotts Berry Farm  is located at the front entrance.  Be sure to check out the replica Independence Hall near the parking lot. 
Knotts Berry Farm has great rides for the whole family!FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-  Good variety of rides for the whole family.  Plenty of restrooms scattered throughout the park.  Souvenir shops with a good variety of reasonably priced souvenirs.  There are often discounts available so check their website for specials.
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS-  Parking lot is a long walk.  Several of the rides were closed the day we were there, including two of the rides we had particularly wanted to try.  No family style restrooms.  The lines for the popular rides were very long and there was no place holder for the lines like there are at some amusement parks. 

LOS ANGELES-  La Brea Tar Pits
5801 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles   323.934.7243
www.tarpits.org
COST:  FREE to visit outside area (Tar Pits) / Museum Cost:  $12 Adult / $9 Senior (age 62+), college student w/ ID, Youth (age 13- 17)/ $5 Children (age 3 - 12)/ Under 3 free.  Parking is $8 at adjoining lot.
HOURS:  Daily 9:30 am - 5 pm
More than 3 million fossils have been discovered at this site.  This is the country's only fossil excavation site in an urban area.  During the summer La Brea Tar Pits Los Angeles, Californiathere is still excavating done.   There is a walking path that goes around the tar pit.  There are life-sized replicas of the some prehistoric mammals in the tar pit.  There are large signs explaining the tar pits and fossils excavated.  Parking is available in a parking lot behind the museum.  The cost is $8 prepaid.  Have your ticket validated at the museum to receive $2 back when leaving the parking lot.
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-  Free entry to the tar pits area.  Located in a park like setting with lots of area to walk in.  Great way to mix a bit of education into a family day out or vacation.
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS- If you choose not to pay for the museum it only takes about 15 minutes to see the tar pits themselves. 

LOS ANGELES AREA (LONG BEACH)-  QUEEN MARY / SCORPION SUBMARINE
1126 Queen's Hwy., Long Beach   562.435.3511
www.queenmary.com
COST:  Call for information;  prices vary depending on the tour / tours chosen,  Parking is:   Free for 0 - 30 minutes, $3 for 31 minutes to 1 hour, $12 for over 1 hour to 12 hours, and $15 for 12 hours - 24 hours
HOURS:  Mon - Thurs 10 am - 6 pm, Fri - Sun 10 am - 7 pm
The Queen Mary is an impressive piece of maritime history.  As you tour the grand ship you will be taken back in time.  Tour the decks, see what crew and passenger quarters were like, visit the shops and restaurants.  Tours include a Ghost and Paranormal Tour where you can learn about Queen Mary's haunted past.  At different times there are also special exhibits (usually an additional price).  Also available to tour (for an additional price) is the Scorpion submarine located next to the Queen Mary (not recommended for anyone who does not like small, confined spaces).
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-  The children thought it was neat to be on an old ship and were impressed by how beautiful it was.  There were lots of places to walk around.   If it is in the budget, stay on the Queen Mary for the night;  a unique hotel experience.
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS-   Some areas are not stroller accessible and there are quite a few steps to some decks.  Children under 48" tall can not tour the Scorpion.  The Ghost Tours are too scary for many younger children.  Watch small children near the railings. 

LOS ANGELES AREA (HOLLYWOOD)-  REDLINE TOURS
6773 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood   323.402.1074
COST:  $24.95 adult/ $18 Over age 60 and students with ID/ $15 Age 9 - 15 / Ages 0 - 8 free with paying adult
HOURS:  Call for tour times
Redline Tours offers a great way to learn more about Hollywood.  They offer a variety of tours including behind-the-scenes and historic tours.  The tour guide was very friendly and informative.  He worked well with the children and took time to interact with them.   We learned many interesting details about Hollywood's famous landmarks.
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-  Very informative.  Friendly tour guide.  Each person receives a headset to be able to hear the guide even in noisy areas. 
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS- Some areas of the tour are not stroller friendly.  Parking is in a pay lot or structure and is not validated. 

LOS ANGELES AREA (SANTA MONICA)-  Santa Monica Pier
Corner of Ocean and Colorado Avenues, Santa Monica   310.458.8900
www.santamonicapier.org
COST:  FREE.  Parking is $6 - $8 at adjoining lots.
HOURS:  Daily-  24 hours
This is a fun place to walk on a beautiful day.  Along the way you will find numerous vendors and entertainers.  Walk down from the pier and enjoy a walk on the beach.  Parking at the adjacent lot is $6.  Though the pier is free, there are other activities such as the Aquarium and Pacific Park Amusement Park which have a fee.
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-  Great place to walk and people watch.  Beach area has a walkway that goes about halfway out and a faucet for washing feet. 

Santa Monica Pier California

LOS ANGELES AREA (SANTA MONICA)-  Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
1600 Ocean Front Walk, Santa Monica   310.393.6149
www.healthebay.org
Santa Monica Pier Aquarium California
COST:  $2 minimum for adults (they request $5 but accept $2) / free for children under 12 with paying adult
HOURS:  Tues - Fri  2 pm - 5 pm  /  Sat and Sun  12:30 pm - 5 pm
This small aquarium is conveniently located on the beach level of the Santa Monica Pier.  The aim of this aquarium is educating young people regarding marine conservation.  There are numerous museum volunteers available to answer questions.  The kids especially liked the touch tanks.  There is also a Kid's Corner with puzzles and games.  Parking at the neighboring Santa Monica Pier parking lot is $6.
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-  Hands-on touch tanks.  Reasonably priced and conveniently located near several other family friendly activities.  Stroller friendly.
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS- Very small and crowded;  was difficult for the kids to get near the touch tanks. 
 

 

LOS ANGELES AREA (SAN PEDRO / LONG BEACH)- Spirit Cruises
429 Shoreline Village Drive, Long Beach  /  Berth 77, San Pedro  310.548.8080
COST:  Prices vary depending upon tour
HOURS:  Call for current schedule
Spirit Cruises offers a variety of tours around the Harbor.  We chose the seasonal whale watching tour which is two hours long.  The tour is narrated and guaranteed.  Though the staff tried to find some whales for us to see, we were not lucky enough to see any.  They did show us some other sea life which kept the kids happy.  Also, since we did not see any whales we were given a free pass for another whale watching tour.  The boat appeared to be well kept, clean, and had a variety of seating options.  There is drink service onboard and restrooms on the bottom level.  If you have not taken your children on a boat before, you might want to try one of the shorter cruises first to see if they are easily seasick (one child was very seasick while on our whale watching tour--  not fun for the child or anyone else in the area).  Remember to take a jacket even if it seems warm;  it is often much cooler on the water than on land.
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-  Short cruises available to try it out.  Restrooms onboard.  Prices seemed reasonable.
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS- Sea sickness might be an issue. 

LOS ANGELES AREA (UNIVERSAL CITY)- Universal Studios
100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City    800.864.8377
http://www.universalstudioshollywood.com/
Universal Studios Hollywood Tram Backlot Tour
COST:  $84 over 48" tall / $76 under 48" tall/ Under 3 years free.     There are several other ticket options including a Front of the Line pass.  Visit their website for more information.   Parking is $11 or $20 for preferred.
HOURS:  Opening times vary depending on the day of week and time of year.  Visit the website for updated schedule. 
Universal Studios offers a fun day out for the whole family.  Ride and shows are themed around popular movies.  The Studio Tour was a favorite.  The narrated tram tour goes through the backlot area to see sets you will recognize from some favorite shows and movies.  There are some fun surprises along the way (hey, I can't share them or they wouldn't be surprises, would they?).    The Shrek 4D movie, the Animal Actors show and the Water World show are worth waiting in line for.    After a hot day walking around the park, stop by the Coke Soak Zone for some cool water fun.   Parking is $11, or pay $20 for Preferred Parking (we found the extra to be worth the reduced walk time to the park).

Universal Studios Hollywood Coke Soak Play AreaThere are several restaurants and snack stands throughout the park.  We had lunch at Mel's Diner and would recommend it.  They offer a good variety of sandwiches/ burgers.  They have a kid's menu with limited choices.  The restaurant is cafeteria style;  grab a tray and move down the row picking what you would like.  The food was freshly made and very hot.  While some of the employees seemed a bit grouchy, our cashier was very friendly and helpful.    There is seating inside or outside.  Pricing is a bit higher than average burger restaurants but was comparable to a sit down restaurant.  If you have AAA, make sure to show your card to receive a 10% discount at Mel's and other restaurants / shops throughout Universal. 
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-  We found Universal to have more reasonably price food and souvenirs in comparison to other similar amusement parks.   Good variety of rides and shows.   Plenty of restrooms throughout (though we were disappointed to see no Family Style restrooms).
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS-  The distance between the main park and the lower lot (where most of the rides are) was quite far.   The trip to the lower lot includes 4 large escalators (called Starways by Universal).  I would recommend finishing all of the activities you want to do there at one time to prevent wasting time going back and forth. 

SAN DIEGO- Sea World
500 Sea World Drive, San Diego    800.257.4268
http://www.seaworld.com/sandiego/default.aspx
COST:  Prices vary depending upon how many days are purchased;  check website for rates.  AAA Travel Club discounts available.  Parking is $12 or $17 for Preferred spots (these might be worth it if you arrive later in the day when the lot is quite full).
HOURS:  The hours vary so check the website for current schedule.Up Close at Breakfast With Shamu!
Appropriately located on the gorgeous San Diego coast, Sea World successfully mixes the fun and excitement of a theme park with the educational aspects of an aquarium.  Sea World features three rides, a children's play area, numerous aquarium-type exhibits and a great variety of live entertainment/ shows.  The aquarium areas are nicely done;  signs explain interesting details about the sea life on display.  The hands-on touch pools have staff available to answer questions and provide information on the types of sealife in the touch pool.   At the Ray touch pool (called Forbidden Reef), buy some fish to feed the rays.  You can do the same at Rocky Point Preserve to feed the dolphins.    Pet starfish at the Tide Pool. 

There are three rides included in the price of admission (there are two additional rides available at a fee--  Bayside Skyride and Skytower Ride).  Shipwreck Rapids is a raft ride and Journey to Atlantis is a log-style water ride / roller coaster.  You are almost certain to get wet!  The Wild Arctic is a helicopter simulator ride which takes you over a beautiful Artic Landscape (but watch out for the winter storm blowing in...it's going to be a rough ride!).    To truly experience what Sea World has to offer, take the time to go to the shows.  Pets Rule has a variety of non-seaShamu Rocks! animals;  some of whom were rescued from shelters.  There are shows at the Dolphin Stadium, Sea Lion and Otter Stadium and Shamu Stadium (if the park is open into the night, you will have a chance to see different shows at these stadiums-  I highly recommend the Shamu Rocks show). 

As with other theme parks, there are plenty of opportunities to buy snacks and souvenirs throughout the park.  There are also sit-down restaurants.   We found them to be priced in-line with other similar parks;  not cheap but not as expensive as Disney parks.   The kids were happy to find a variety of souvenirs in their price range.  Overall I thought the souvenir prices were very reasonable.  If your children love Build-a-Bear or similar, be sure to stop in at Wild Creations to have your own Shamu or dolphin stuffed.  Other things to do while at Sea World:  play at the new Sesame Street Bay of Play and visit the Clydesdales. 

Though not included in the general admission price, I highly recommend reserving a spot to Dine with Shamu.  Though the price might seem overwhelming at first glance, we found this to be the highlight of our Sea World trip.  Breakfast with Shamu is a bit cheaper and an amazing way to start your day at Sea World.  We were seated pool side, where we could see perfectly how the trainers interact with "Shamu".  At the same time we were served a very tasty buffet breakfast.  Well worth the price!  As if a great day with your family isn't enough to feel good about, here is an interesting tidbit of information to make you feel even better about the money spent on admission to the park.  Sea World is involved in the rescue and recovery of injured and endangered sea life.  Most of the sea life they help is Visiting StarFish at the Touch Pooleventually returned to its natural habitat, while a few sea animals will stay on at the park (based upon necessity).  
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-  An enjoyable day out that is educational too.  A good variety to please everyone;  rides, shows, aquariums, and even horses!  There are many options for adding on additional tours and experiences depending upon your budget.  Staff was very friendly and knowledgeable.   Restrooms are conveniently located throughout the park;  including family style restrooms.  Reasonably priced souvenirs and moderately priced food. 
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS-  With only three rides, lines were very long.  Try to head to the rides while others are at the shows, if possible.   If you stay until the park closes, expect to have a long wait to leave the parking lot.  The traffic flow was not well routed and people were extremely rude and aggressive.  The parking lot is not well sign posted to help with easy exiting of the large amount of cars. 
 

LODGING:

LOS ANGELES AREA (ANAHEIM)-Anaheim Islander Inn & Suites
424 Katella Ave., Anaheim   800.882.8819
www.anaheimislander.com

Located conveniently near the Disneyland Resort, this two story hotel offers a family room with sleeping accommodations for 8.   Reasonable room rate includes continental breakfast and WIFI service.  The hotel rooms have doors opening to the outside instead of a hallway type of layout.   Though the hotel is not new, the rooms have been renovated and were clean and well-kept.    They were also large enough to accommodate people and luggage with room to still move around.  For the price, this was a comfortable option close to Disneyland.
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-   The hotel offers family rooms and kid's rooms (which have bunk beds).  Close to Disneyland.  Laundry facility onsite (only one washer and dryer though;  each cost $1 per load).  Friendly staff seemed happy to answer questions and do their best to be helpful.  Free parking.
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS-  All rooms only have one bathroom, even the family rooms.  The bathroom is quite small and wasn't as well kept as the rest of the room.  The continental breakfast was also small, consisting only of danishes, apples and juice (though not much choice, there was always plenty of food available and the quality was very good).   Not close enough to walk to Disneyland and there is no free shuttle though the front desk will help arrange for the shuttle service to Disney for a small fee.   

LOS ANGELES AREA (ONTARIO)-Best Western Inn & Suites
3400 Shelby St., Ontario    909.466.9600
www.bestwestern.com
The Best Western Inn & Suites is conveniently located near the Ontario California airport.  The rooms are all suite-style, with one or two bedrooms.  Rooms have microwaves, refrigerators, free high speed / WIFI internet service, cable television, and even a complimentary bottle of water.  The property offers an outdoor pool, fitness center, an on-site restaurant and room service.  Pets are allowed with an additional fee.  There are also jacuzzi suites available.  Free breakfast buffet including hot breakfast options and make-your-own waffles. 
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-   Friendly staff.  Large rooms.  Breakfast buffet was tasty and had a good variety.
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS-  Pool did not appear to be well-kept.  There was a lot of debris floating in for the entire time of our stay.  

LOS ANGELES AREA (LONG BEACH)-  QUEEN MARY HOTEL
1126 Queen's Hwy., Long Beach   562.435.3511
www.queenmary.com
The Queen Mary hotel is located on the former luxury liner which took passengers from the US to England and back.  The rooms retain the Queen Mary First Class Stateroom-  King Bedcharm of the 40s.  There are many room choices;  I recommend one of the First Class Staterooms which have porthole windows.  Less expensive interior rooms are also available but do not have windows.  Family suites and adjoining rooms are available so it is easy to find a room appropriate for any family size.  We have stayed at the Queen Mary four times and have never had the same room style twice.  Each room seems to have something slightly unique. WIFI service is $10 per day.  If you would like to use your own laptop in your room there is an additional piece of equipment you will need to borrow from the hotel (there is a deposit hold put on your credit card for theQueen Mary Hotel Twin Bedroom equipment).  There are several restaurants on board, offering a variety of menus.  Room Service is also available.  Near the front desk is a very helpful concierge who can assist with information regarding the hotel or the local area.   Parking is $15 per 24 hours. 
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-  Great variety of room sizes, including adjoining rooms and family suites.  Access to walk around the ship.  Unique experience!
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS-   Watch little ones around the railings.  Restaurants are pricey.  WIFI is more complicated than most other business class hotels.  

SAN DIEGO-Best Western Island Palms Hotel & Marina
2051 Shelter Island Dr., San Diego    619.222.0561
www.islandpalms.com
Located about ten minutes from Sea World, the Best Western Island Palms is a great option for families traveling to San Diego.  They have a variety of room sizes, including a suite with separate bedroom area and kitchen.  This hotel is located on the waterfront of Shelter Island and has its own marina.  Many of the rooms have balconies which overlook the water.  Rooms includes cable television, FREE high speed internet, pay per view movies and pay use Nintendo.  There is a fitness center, spa, and two pools with hot tubs available.  Bicycle rentals are available.  There is free parking on-site.  Room service and restaurant are both available.  The staff is friendly and helpful. 
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-   Great variety of room sizes to suit needs of different-size families.   Beautiful setting;  don't forget to enjoy a morning walk along the water.   This hotel has one of the friendliest and nicest staff we have ever encountered at a large chain hotel.  They seemed to really wish to make our stay a pleasant one.  
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS-  Breakfast is not included.  


RESTAURANTS:

DISNEY'S SODA FOUNTAIN AND STUDIO STORE
6834 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood   323.817.1475

disney.go.com/disneypictures/el_capitan/soda_fountain/main.html
Located adjacent to the historic El Capitan theatre, this soda fountain retains the charm of soda fountains of the past.  The menu ranges from diner-type food to ice cream treats.   The kids especially enjoyed sitting at the counter and watching the sundaes and shakes being made.  The staff was friendly and patient.  The restaurant was clean and bright and scattered along the walls were photos of celebrities visiting the soda fountain.  Prices were slightly higher than an average family restaurant but were not excessive.  The soda fountain shares space with a small Disney store.  Parking is available across the street at the Hollywood and Highland Parking Structure for a fee.
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-   Food portions were generous.  Even the kid's size sundae was large.  Friendly staff.  Restaurant was stroller friendly, very clean, and has easily accessible restrooms.
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS-  Fee-based parking.  A little pricey. 

Promenade Cafe on the Queen Mary
1126 Queen's Hwy., Long Beach   562.435.3511

http://www.queenmary.com/index.php?page=promenadecafe
The award winning Promenade Cafe is a comfortable family friendly restaurant with beautiful views of the water and shoreline.  The menu ranges from salads to burgers and fish & chips.  There is a kid's menu with a variety of choices.  The restaurant is a bit more expensive than a traditional sit-down family restaurant.  Our meal was very good, and portions plentiful, so the prices seemed justified.  The service was excellent;  our waiter consistently refilled our water and drink glasses and quickly removed empty dishes.  Parking is validated so remember to take your parking tag inside with you.
FAMILY FRIENDLY PROS-   Kid's menu has a good variety and good-sized portions.   The kids thought the view of the water was great.
FAMILY FRIENDLY CONS-  More expensive than one might expect to pay at a Cafe.

Family Friendly Travel Tip:
Start a collection of a small souvenir that is easily available at most attractions.  We purchase a magnet from everywhere we go.  They hold a place of honor on our fridge.  Even guests enjoy exploring our travels by viewing the magnets.

 

Read our articles for more travel tips and location information:
 
How to Make the Most of a Family Trip to Disneyland

How to Enjoy Family Activities in Colorado Springs

How to Enjoy a Family Vacation Without Hearing 'Are We There Yet"

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Familyfriendlyamerica.com is dedicated to providing reviews and information aimed at families.  The reviews are primarily travel based;  such as hotels, restaurants and activities.  We have a variety of activities depending upon the state requested;  from historical to theme parks and everything in between.  Each state also includes an information page.  This  page displays fun facts about each state.   Each state also includes a listing of Kids Eat Free (or at a discount) restaurants.  Our database is continually growing and changing.